The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, must desist from cutting the public sector wage bill.

Sadtu secretary-general, Mungwena Maluleka, says the corrupt, not civil servants, should be liable for the current situation the public sector is facing.

Responding to recent statements by Mboweni suggesting that the public sector wage bill must be cut, Maluleka said civil servants had nothing to do with the current economic situation the country was facing.

She says those who have brought the country to the status quo must face the music.

“We are saying to the minister of finance must stop his political gimmicks and engage the workers. Therefore we are not convinced that the workers in the public service have got to sacrifice for corruption that has happened and the wastefulness that is happening in our government, the luxurious cars that they are driving and to Parliament.”

Video below:

Anger over wage bill cut proposal

Mboweni, this week during his budget speech, announced a proposal to cut the state’s wage bill by R160.2 billion over three years. To do this, Mboweni said the government will legislate a remuneration framework for public entities and SOE’s.

Speaking at a media briefing before his budget speech, the minister said the framework is expected to improve and align pay scales within the public service and contain excessive salaries.

The plan has sparked angry reaction from labour. Unions have threatened to embark on protests, saying the government wants to renege on the terms of a public sector wage deal struck in 2018. They say officials informed them on Tuesday that they could not afford to pay public servants wage increases that were meant to come into force in April 2020, for the final year of the three-year deal.

Economists have long argued that the government should take a tougher line with unions given the severe fiscal constraints.

Ratings agency Fitch says public sector wages account for around a third of consolidated government expenditure.

In the video below, Cosatu’s Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says Mboweni’s proposal is an attack on workers…

Sadtu’s 30th anniversary  

The union launched its marathon 30th birthday celebrations in Kuruman in the Northern Cape on Saturday.

Established in October 1990, its aim is to eradicate discrimination in the education sector and create free education for all. 30 years on, the struggle for that and many other challenges still rage in schools. Like school killings.

Maluleka says there’s a need for stakeholders to work together to ensure the safety of learners and teachers at schools.  “We need to work together with the police, we need to work together with the communities and say enough is enough, how long do we continue to bury young who are killed in our schools, how long can we bury our teachers whose suppose is to build our nation and we are doing nothing.”

The union has also launched the national I AM SCHOOL FAN campaign, which aims to involve community members in efforts to stop violence in schools countrywide. Teachers have welcomed the initiative.

Sadtu will have provincial celebrations in all other eight provinces which will lead to a national event to be held in October in KwaZulu-Natal.